SANTA ANA, Calif. — Drum roll, please. Cue the music band. Get up for the national anthem.
No. 1 St. John Bosco (Bellflower, Calif.) versus No. 2 Mater Dei (Santa Ana) is finally upon us.
The start of the 2022 high school football Super Bowl regular season is just hours away, a 7:30 p.m. .
College coaches, celebrities, internet influencers, famous alumni, scouting gurus, national and local media figures who walk the stadium floor at some point (before, after or during the game) to witness perhaps the most array of present and future football stars in the making on a high school football field.
A staggering 76 future college players with FBS offers or recruiting rankings will make it, making this a true event, a show of grilling prodigies, an embarrassment of prep riches.
In fact, the pageantry of most Friday Night Light games — marching bands, entertainers, and dance leaders — takes a backseat to the player showcase.
Looks like Michael Buffer should be making pregame introductions.
Since the turn of the century, this is the 12th time the country’s top two ranked teams have met and for the fourth time, the matchup features Bosco’s Bravos against Mater Dei’s Monarcas.
Besides the alliteration, this one definitely sounds and sounds familiar. Especially lately.
Since 2016, Southern California powerhouses have seized supremacy of the Golden State, once largely controlled by Northern California and national powerhouse De La Salle-Concord, owners of a national-record 151-fight win streak. and theme from a Hollywood movie, “When the Game Stays High.”
In addition to a 2013 CIF Open Division crown, Bosco won it in 2017 and 2019. Mater Dei won it in 2016, 2018 and 2021 (there were no CIF championships in 2020 due to the pandemic).
The teams have met 12 times since 2014 with Mater Dei winning seven by a cumulative score of 371-325. The games have been more than a little tight, intense and analyzed.
Ultimately, St. John Bosco coach Jason Negro told the Long Beach Press-Telegram’s John Davis this week that the game will most likely come down to something as basic as 50-50 balls.
He pointed to Mater Dei quarterback Elijah Brown’s ability to complete the fading pattern and the Braves’ inability to win those competitive balls as a big reason Mater Dei won the last two meetings, 42-21 last night. last season and 34-17 in the spring. of 2021.
In fact, Mater Dei handily won the turnover battle in both victories, intercepting four passes to none for the Braves.
“We have to win the balls 50-50,” Black said. “That’s something we haven’t done and haven’t done (in the last two games). At the end of the day, that was the difference we didn’t win by.”
St. John Bosco went down with the ball in perhaps the most famous finish between the two teams.
A Hail Mary pass from midfield in the 2019 Division I Southern Section finals from Bryce Young, then the Mater Dei senior quarterback and future Heisman winner at Alabama, landed in the middle of the zone of scoring between approximately eight of the best athletes in the state, four from each team.
Bosco’s Kris Hutson, now a sophomore at Oregon, jumped over everyone to grab the ball and preserve his team’s wild 39-34 victory. Young threw for 405 yards and five touchdowns. His counterpart, DJ Uiagalelei (now at Clemson) threw for 446 yards and also five touchdowns.
The finish, the quarterback duel between possible future NFL stars and the competitive advantage of that game summed up this recent series. The event. The show.
A continuation of all this is expected in a few hours.
“I’d be lying to you if I didn’t think we have the best team in the country,” Negro told Davis. “Hopefully we can go out there and prove it. If not, then we have work to do.”
This is part of the work we have done this week in preparation for another Bosco-Mater Dei showdown:
San Juan Bosco and Mater Dei at the top of the Power 25
The series of 39 games since 1966
by the numbers
Mater Dei sophomore CB Chuck McDonald III
National Games of the Week
St. John Bosco-Mater Dei sells out in minutes
Mater Dei coach Bruce Rollinson plans season 35
Top Southern California Games of the Week
South Section Ranking: Bosco-Mater Dei ready to roll
List of all 76 college recruits
Sophomore Mater Dei RB Jordon Davison
How to watch: Bally Sports goes national with a game
5 great stories
Top 15 college prospects
CIF-SS This Week Episode 8 Preview Game